Feb. 1, 2014
HOUSTON - Seven Green Wave individuals posted season-best times and sophomore diver Lauren Arnold recorded the No. 10 overall score in school history in the three-meter springboard as the Tulane University women's swimming and diving team wrapped up the regular season with a solid effort in day two of a quad meet against LSU, Conference USA foe Rice and host Houston on Friday at the UH Campus Wellness and Recreation Center.
The Green Wave's performance comes one day after Tulane tallied five individual season bests as well as a season-best showing in the 400 free relay. Despite the 13 season-best efforts, however, the Wave came up short in all three head-to-head matchups as Tulane came up 52 points short against Houston (202-150), 163 points behind Rice (252-89) and 222 points shy of LSU (287-65).
"The goals for this weekend were to sharpen the skills that we've been working on the last few weeks and continue to develop our race strategies," first-year Tulane head coach Katie Robinson said. "The girls seemed to do a good job with that in general. I think that it was hard on Friday to sit on a bus for six and a half hours, get up there and then swim fast. We struggled a little bit with that, but they were much better in day two. The energy was a lot better today. Once they shook that out of their system on Friday, they did much better and swam much faster on Saturday."
Sophomore Elizabeth Cook posted the Green Wave's first season-best mark of the day, clocking a 2:06.00 in the 200 back to come in seventh. Sophomore Mia Schachter (52.09), senior Cari Caprio (54.81) and freshman Jonna Frantz (54.89) all posted top times in the 100 free, and the trio of sophomore Roni Meyer (4:33.59), junior Laura Turpen (4:38.42) and junior Molly Jubas (4:53.56) followed suit in the 400 IM. Arnold, meanwhile, finished sixth in Saturday's diving event with a score of 252.15.
Cook's time in the 200 back, Schachter's in the 100 free and Meyer's in the 400 IM each led the team in the respective events. The Green Wave saw potential points get erased from the scoreboard early on as Tulane's A unit was disqualified in the 400 medley relay due to an early start but the quartet of junior Vanessa Loewen, junior Claire Schelske, junior Amy Needham and Caprio combined to come in ninth with a time of 4:02.79.
Sophomore Rachel Schneider led the Tulane effort in the 500 freestyle with a seventh-place finish at 5:07.57, Schachter paced the Wave in the 100 breast with a 1:06.11 to finish sixth and freshman Ellie Sills headlined the team's performance in the 200 fly with a 2:10.19 to come in eighth.
Sophomore Maren Kjell finished second on the team to Arnold in the 3-meter springboard, scoring out at 237.00 to finish seventh overall in the meet. The four competing teams wrapped up the meet with the 200 free relay where Sills, Frantz, Caprio and Schachter combined to come in ninth with a time of 1:38.72.
"The 100 free was definitely one of our stronger events today, or at least stronger than it had been in the past," Robinson said. "We were very happy to see that kind of performance in that event, as well as the 400 IM. That was also a very strong event for us this weekend."
The Green Wave will take some time away from outside competition before returning to intercollegiate action on Wednesday, Feb. 26, when Tulane opens play in the 2014 Conference USA Swimming & Diving Championship in Atlanta, Ga. The four-day event will conclude on Saturday, March 1.
"With swimming and the way the season is progressing and the cycles of training, we have one more week of training that is fairly challenging and then we will begin to back off in what we call the taper," Robinson added. "Each taper is very specifically individualized to each student-athlete and that will help prepare them to swim fast at conference based on the physiological needs of each swimmer."